Maybe I’m just feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, reinvigorated, re-whatever else you can find in your local thesaurus to express that not-so-not-fresh-feeling. Or maybe I’m just crazy. Either way, this feels like the best slate of two-start pitchers we’ve had all season. The elites of Tier 1 are plentiful, and Tier 2 isn’t far behind. Tier 3 has a bevy of solid options that could well be available to you, like the surging Tyler Anderson (bad matchups) and the soon-to-be-not-disabled Zach Eflin. The names in Tier 4 aren’t (and never are) super enticing, but therein lies a cavalcade of very good matchups. Tanner Roark has a start against the Marlins, and if he can’t put up a quality start there I’m going to start a petition to let me kick him in the nads for the damages he’s caused to my ERA and WHIP. Per usual you have to be pretty desperate to roll with any of the Tier 5 options, but they’re here for your perusal nevertheless.

Tier 1
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Luis Severino @TB 14th 22.6 KC 27th 19.9
Corey Kluber PIT 21st 19.5 @DET 29th 22.3
Aaron Nola LAD 4th 21.7 @CIN 8th 21
Blake Snell (L) NYY 1st 23.3 @BAL 28th 21.1
Ross Stripling @PHI 18th 25.7 @ATL 20th 21


  • Ross Stripling (LAD) – Well here’s a name I never imagined I’d be placing in Tier 1. Yet it’s hard to argue with it given what he’s shown us. Over 80 innings as a starter he’s posted a 2.36 ERA/1.06 WHIP with a 10.24 K/9 and 0.90 BB/9 (!!!). He has even suffered a .318 BABIP despite a 30.3% hard contact rate and 14.7% pop-ups. Nobody could have seen this freight train coming, but Stripling has not only carried his success from the bullpen into starting, but he’s gotten even better. He is a pitch tunneling savant, whose command and ability to change eye levels is incredible. He’s even got some decent matchups this week, making him an all-formats start.

Tier 2
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Jose Berrios @TOR 10th 23.3 @BOS 1st 18.5
Patrick Corbin (L) @CHC 9th 21.9 @SD 23rd 24.5
Rick Porcello @BAL 28th 24.3 MIN 15th 21.1
Kenta Maeda @PHI 18th 25.7 @ATL 20th 20.6


  • Kenta Maeda (LAD) – Maeda got you a cute little 0.1 IP Win on Sunday, if you happened to still have him in your starting lineup on a non-start day. He came into the seventh inning and worked out of a bases loaded situation just to get some work in. That’s not bad for an off day; usually on my day off I just sit around in my robe puffing on my vintage gentleman’s pipe, adjusting my monocle, and shaking my head at various MLB managerial decisions. Tier 2 might seem a bit rich for Maeda, but the matchups are decent (same as Stripling’s), and he has a tasty 1.54 ERA over 11.2 July innings. He hasn’t just been lucky either, with a 0.90 FIP and a crazy 19:3 K:BB ratio. He should pile up plenty of K’s against the free swinging Phillies. Groovy, baby.

Tier 3
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
CC Sabathia (L) @TB 13th 23.9 KC 27th 23
Zack Wheeler SD 30th 25.9 @PIT 21st 19.5
Joe Musgrove @CLE 5th 20.8 NYM 24th 21.5
Tyler Anderson HOU 6th 19.7 OAK 7th 22.1
Carlos Rodon (L) @LAA 26th 20.4 TOR 17th 21.5
Freddy Peralta WSH 16th 21 @SF 19th 23.5
Zach Eflin LAD 4th 21.7 @CIN 8th 21


  • Carlos Rodon (CHW) – This may be a little rich for Rodon, too. He has a 3.56 ERA/1.19 WHIP over seven starts, which is fine, but things aren’t all unicorns and naked little pixies under the hood. The walks are still too high at 3.56 BB/9, and the strikeouts are way down to just 7.33 K/9. He’s throwing his changeup more, which is a good thing in some ways, and it hasn’t been terrible, which is even better. It’s netting 65% ground balls with just a .150 BAA, but doesn’t get any whiffs. The real issue is that his slider isn’t getting whiffs either, and that’s supposed to be his bread-and-butter. While batters are hitting just .065 on the slider, it’s getting only 16% whiffs. He’s really only throwing it down and in to righties and low and away to lefties – super predictable. Perhaps he just doesn’t have the command to hit the outside of the zone to righties for strikes, but without that slider he isn’t going to be much fun to own the rest of the season.

Tier 4
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Kyle Hendricks ARI 26th 24.4 @STL 17th 22.3
Julio Teheran @MIA 25th 22.5 LAD 4th 21.7
Kevin Gausman BOS 1st 18.5 TB 14th 22.6
Tanner Roark @MIL 11th 25.3 @MIA 25th 22.5
Jhoulys Chacin WAS 16th 21 @SF 19th 23.5
Andrew Suarez (L) @SEA 11th 21.3 MIL 25th 21
Eric Lauer (L) @NYM 30th 26.3 ARI 8th 23.3
Luis Castillo STL 17th 22.3 PHI 18th 25.7
Jose Urena ATL 20th 20.6 WSH 16th 21
Mike Minor (L) OAK 20th 23.8 @HOU 3rd 20.3
Jeremy Hellickson @MIL 11th 25.3 @MIA 25th 22.5


  • Jeremy Hellickson (WSH) – Helix has assuaged my trepidation a bit over his last two starts, going 11 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. He simply just isn’t going to pitch too deep into games, which limits his upside, but guess what? He’s got the Marlins this week, and if that doesn’t tickle your pickle in ways that can only otherwise be achieved with a feather duster and some mayonnaise, then buddy I don’t know what to tell ya.

Tier 5
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Drew Pomeranz (L) @BAL 28th 21.1 MIN 18th 23.8
Felix Pena CHW 23rd 25.4 SEA 13th 20.3
Clay Buchholz @CHC 2nd 20.9 @SD 30th 25.9
Francisco Liriano (L) @KC 27th 23 CLE 6th 18.9
Brett Anderson (L) @TEX 10th 23.5 @COL 4th 21.9
Trevor Williams @CLE 5th 20.8 NYM 24th 21.5
Jason Vargas (L) SD 23rd 24.5 @PIT 14th 21.2
Sal Romano STL 17th 22.3 PHI 18th 25.7
Burch Smith DET 29th 22.3 @NYY 3rd 23.5
Heath Fillmyer DET 29th 22.3 @NYY 3rd 23.5
Lucas Giolito @LAA 9th 20.1 TOR 10th 23.3
Yefry Ramirez BOS 1st 18.5 TB 14th 22.6
Yovani Gallardo OAK 7th 22.1 @HOU 6th 19.7


  • Drew Pomeranz (BOS) – The Pom Pom tossed 69 nice pitches in his final rehab start at Triple-A on Wednesday and appears good to go for a double dipper right off the DL. Unfortunately, it’s still Drew Pomeranz, and pitchers often have a pretty tight pitch count for their first start back off the DL. He was pretty terrible over his first eight starts (6.81 ERA/5.36 FIP) so this is a real “break glass in case of fantasy emergency” type of situation. Actually I prefer to think that he’s stuck in a giant cocoon and to utilize his services you have to grab an ax and cut through the giant web. There’s no broken glass in that scenario, so it’s much safer, you see. The matchups are there this week, but I’m not particularly optimistic regardless.


*All pitchers are scheduled for two starts as of Friday evening.



You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken.

  1. Raj says:

    Excellent segment. I look forward to this each week, which is why I’m usually first to comment. It looks like Jaime Barria is going two starts this coming week, is that right?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Raj: Thanks Raj! It does indeed look like Barria and Pena line up for two starts this week. Barria would be a borderline Tier 3/4 guy this week.

  2. Bobby-Hot-Rocket says:

    Nice write up as always Dokken!
    I’m sitting at 10-7 in my 12 team H2H points league. I’ve recently made 3 trades for the final stretch. Pax, Perez, Peraza, Acuna for Trea and MadBum – Hosmer, Suzuki for Grandal, Carpenter (just before Carp exploded!!) and finally Hanniger for Rizzo. So I currently sit:

    C- Grandal
    3-Jo-Ram / Shaw
    SS- Turner
    OF- Yelich
    Of- Piscotty
    Of- Schwarber

    Res- Bauers, Olsen, Profar, Devers , Jose Martinez

    SP (Start 3)
    Thor , Madbum, Berrios, Corbin, Taillon
    RP – Treinen / Knebel

    So my question is, am I crazy to try and trade Carpenter / MadBum for a Stud SP or OF? I really dont like MadBum or Thor as my aces. both are big names but overvalued in IMO. What are your thoughts?? Make a trade or stay put? Thanks for your time

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Bobby-Hot-Rocket: Well Mr. Hot Rocket, this is a good problem to have. You seem to be pretty over-stacked at the corners though, so I’d try to move Devers, Olson, or Shaw in a 2- or 3-for-one for a high end OF. I think you’ll be good with Thor and Bummy on the pitching side.

      • Bobby-Hot-Rocket says:

        @Dokken: Appreciate the input

  3. luvdarooks says:

    Weaver just got sent down so before he returns I have a chance to pick up either Hill or F Peralta.
    I need W WHIP (under 1.21) K and ERA in that order .

    Should I keep Weaver or go for one of those other two.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @luvdarooks: I’d take my chances with Peralta there.

  4. Matty Magoo says:

    Rumor is that the Dodgers will call up Buehler mid-week, which likely pushes Maeda’s two-start to next week. My gut tells me to avoid him against Nola. Is my gut crazy?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:

      @Matty Magoo: Imagine that, the Dodgers shuffling their rotation! I’d still take Maeda against the Phillies. They’ve been really scary lately actually, but they still whiff a lot. If you have a better option you could get away from him, but it depends on your other options.

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